The Office of the University Ombuds provides a venue for complaints, conflicts or concerns that visitors do not wish to address through other official University channels. These concerns might include disputes, interpersonal conflicts or questions about University policies, practices or services.
- Concern with a specific University process or confusion about a policy
- Having difficulties working or communicating with a supervisor, professor or team
- Navigating a possible ethical dilemma
- Seeking guidance on having difficult conversations
- Finding out about formal processes to resolve problems
- Accessing other University resources
- Dealing with a specific conflict with a colleague or fellow student
- Needing to address a performance issue with a direct report or a student in class
Example Ombuds Responses
- Listen carefully and without judgment to concerns
- Explain University policies and procedures
- Help employees and graduate students explore and evaluate options on how to proceed
- Refer employees and graduate students to appropriate University resources
- Coach employees and graduate students on effective communication tactics and other means of de-escalating and resolving interpersonal conflicts
- Engage in facilitated conversation or conflict management, where appropriate
Differences from Formal Offices
The Office of the University Ombuds differs from other formal offices, such as the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Equal Opportunity Inclusion and Resolution Services, the Office of University Counsel, or Risk Management—in that those offices can investigate situations, leverage decisions and enforce and set policies. Also, formal offices, such as Human Resources, offer informal conversations and mediation but the discussions may not be considered confidential.
While the ombuds has no authority to take formal action in response to complaints, the ombuds may provide the visitor with relevant information or help to identify formal options available to them in order to move toward resolution.
111 Waverly Ave., Suite 001
If you email, please include only your meeting request; do not include any confidential information in your email.
Details about your particular concern will be discussed during your confidential appointment.